Former college QB to coach football at Mary M. Knight

mwochnick@theolympian.comAugust 2, 2013 

Mary M. Knight hired Matt Brkljacich, a starting quarterback at Central Washington in the mid-1980s, as its football coach.

Brkljacich recently was an assistant coach at Woodland. He has coaching ties to John Schultz, Mary M. Knight’s principal and athletic director who was the Owls’ football coach last season. Schultz led the Owls to the Class 1B (eight-man) state quarterfinals, and stepped down to focus on administrative duties.

Brkljacich was Central Washington’s starting quarterback in 1984-85, leading the Wildcats to the NAIA playoffs. He ranks eighth in program history in career touchdown passes (21) and pass completion percentage (52.7 percent). Brkljacich will teach science and math at Mary M. Knight.

Mary M. Knight joins Black Hills, Centralia, Rainier, Rochester and Yelm as area schools with offseason football coaching changes.


Kevin Clark, one of the best athletes to come out of Tumwater High School, has been diagnosed with testicular cancer, which has spread to his stomach.

Clark, 39, was a seven-time state champion in

football and track and field at Tumwater in the late 1980s and early ’90s. The 1992 Tumwater graduate went on to play football at USC after setting a then-school record of 3,256 career rushing yards and 56 career touchdowns. Both marks were later broken by Derek Lowe.

Clark’s shot put (61 feet, 7 inches) and discus (184-6) school records still stand.

Clark keeps his football ties strong as a volunteer coach in the Thurston County Youth Football League (TCYFL).


The next Ingersoll Stadium public forum to discuss the stadium’s future access will be at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way, S.E., Olympia.

A spike in vandalism at the 3,000-seat stadium has caused the district to consider eliminating the stadium’s current 24-hour unrestricted access.

The area’s two other major stadiums – Tumwater District Stadium and South Sound Stadium – are locked when not in use by teams or approved groups.


Four-time Mat Classic state champion Jimmy Belleville, a 2009 Black Hills High School graduate, is River Ridge’s new wrestling coach. From 2006-09, Belleville compiled a 166-8 record for Black Hills and won state titles at 103, 125, 145 and 160 pounds to become the state’s fifth four-time state champion. He wrestled collegiately for Wyoming and Northern Colorado. … Former River Ridge boys basketball coach Jeremy Landram is Napavine’s new girls basketball coach. The Tigers placed fourth at the Class 2B state tournament in Spokane in March. … Jordan Barnes was hired to coach Yelm boys basketball, replacing Dave Wasankari, who went 9-52 in three seasons. Barnes spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Washington High School.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 @MegWochnick

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